8th May 2014: Painting begins Arduous is really the only word to describe this part of the project.
To complete both sides top to bottom took about 6 hours in total.
Considering it was all done free-hand, I wasn't displeased with the outcome.
My back, however, was.
6th May 2014: Shin covers Nothing fancy here, just 12mm EVA foam layered, cut to size and glued together before being treated with PVA/water.
Excess foam was used for the raised edges, and some find coarse sand was added for the texturing on the fronts. The knees were hand-painted as well.
Velcro for attachment.
1st May 2014: Shoulder armour detail added Once shaping was completed, I needed to add the details. Double layered wonderflex would suffice as it would stick without extra adhesive when heated and still leave enough room for the minor details when finishing.
The patterns were something of an endurance test. Minor variations meant I couldn't simply trace, flip and repeat. It was all painstakingly measured by hand.
Small gaps left afterwards were filled with decorators caulk before sanding.
Afterwards, the piece was primed with 3 coats of gesso before painting with acrylic and sealing.
30th April 2014: Coat pattern Dracula's coat is made up of 7 pieces. I made a template out of some old newspapers taped together, took some measurements and labelled the pieces.
29th April 2014: Timing Factor As work progressed on the coat, I realized that I'd have to organize which parts I worked on in which order.
That is to say, I wouldn't be able to do the gauntlets if the coat was still drying as I'd need to be able to wear it to measure the circumference and diameter.
Similarly I'd need complete the shin guards before starting the waist piece or I wouldn't be able to judge just how far down it was supposed to measure.
22nd April 2014: Methods decided There were still parts of the costume I hadn't decided upon yet. The design at the rear, for example. Initially, I'd planned to use applique but in the end I decided on the hand-designed approach for the added personal touch. True, it may have looked a little sloppy, but I'd have the prestige of saying I'd done it all by hand and eye.
The same went for the designs on the lapels. At first I wanted to use some kind of stamping technique, but creating it proved more difficult than expect. Also, it left a distinctive texture on the leather afterwards that I didn't care for. Anyone who got too close would easily be able to spot it, so I decided to hand-paint that as well.
15th April 2014: Fabric arrived I always knew that the coat was going to be made out of leather. The only question that remained was what kind and texture.
In the end, I settled on a faux leather with a polyester backing for the 2 thigh pieces and upholstery leather for the other pieces. I was quit happy with the find - it matched as well as I could hope for and was within budget.
12th April 2014: Sewing machine purchased Toyota SuperJ15PE Special Edition.
Thanks to some sound advice from fellow cosplayers with more sewing experience, I was able to pick up this machine.
She held up surprisingly well considering the circumstances.
I did end up bending a needle, but that was with a Size 16 Denim after 6/7 metres of 4-layered faux leather.
I still want my man card back, though.
yuubalu - 11th June 2014
This looks so awesome. I love all the detail you've put into everything. Great job!
nanahara - 21st July 2014
very nicely done, looks brilliant
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